Ballymena Court hears man instructed taxi to wait for him outside Tesco and then he went in and shoplifted

A MAN who took a taxi to go shoplifting before returning to the vehicle which he had instructed to wait outside has been given a suspended jail term at Ballymena Magistrates Court.

Edmund Irvine (49), had gone to Tesco in Antrim at 9.15am on February 4 last year where he stole a pair of shorts and two blankets worth £60.

Before he left the store he spoke to two members of staff but left without paying, a prosecutor said.

She told the court CCTV showed the defendant arriving and leaving in a taxi.

Defence barrister Michael Smyth admitted the taxi aspect of the case made it unusual.

He said the sentence on the theft charge had been deferred and the defendant, who had a record, had not been in any trouble since.

The lawyer said Irvine, who struggled with alcohol, later took another taxi and admitted himself to a detox ward at Holywell Hospital.

The defendant, of Carntall Road, Newtownabbey, was given a three months jail term, suspended for a year; and ordered to pay £60 compensation.

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